Navigating the Tricky World of Non-Compete Agreements

Welcome to the second half of our “Be a Paperwork Pro” mini-series of blog posts about interview preparation.  The first half of this mini-series involved the employment application, which we covered in our previous post.  This post deals with the tricky world of non-compete agreements.

The Non-Compete Agreement

These agreements can be tricky mainly because people don’t know exactly what they can do and what they can’t do if they signed one.  You might be in this boat, and it’s a crowded boat, to be sure.  While these agreements are most common among sales professionals, they do extend to other positions, as well.

So before you arrive at your prospective new employer for a face-to-face interview, be sure you know exactly where you stand in terms of your non-compete agreement.  Keep these three points in mind during your preparation:

  1. If you signed a non-compete agreement with your current or previous employer, the recruiter who arranged your interview needs to know about it as soon as possible.
  2. Many times, non-compete agreements are not even enforceable, depending upon the state in which they were drafted.
  3. Seek the advice of a qualified attorney if you are currently under a restrictive non-compete.

However, it doesn’t end with your current employer or a previous employer.  Often, the company that is interviewing you will want you to sign a non-compete should you join them.

If this is the case, it’s important to review the document carefully, discuss it with the recruiter, and, if necessary, talk with an attorney.  Non-compete agreements are common and can be equitable.  However, it’s up to you to know everything about your non-compete (if you signed one) prior to your face-to-face interview, and if you have any concerns, you should speak with the recruiter frankly about those concerns.

Yes, paperwork can be boring, but those candidates who are a “pro” at handling it are the candidates who usually receive an offer of employment.  BE one of those candidates.

(For more information about successfully preparing for YOUR next interview, download a copy of Dan Simmons’s e-Book, Put Your Best You Forward: Simple Steps to a Successful Interview.)

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